Half of SME owners offer cash rewards to improve motivation, says study

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reward employees with almost £1,000 of gifts every year, according to a new study.

American Express, which published the research, said rewards can range from flights to shopping vouchers to hard cash.

It found that businesses located in the north are the most generous, with Manchester SMEs gifting on average £1,156 each year. The average across the whole of the UK totalled £910.

Around 46 per cent of employees who have received a reward say it made them feel “truly valued”, and 44 per cent believe that their company was rewarding their hard work and dedication.

A further 33 per cent felt that the reward motivated them to work harder.

Employers also commented on the impact of rewards, with improved motivation and employee performance identified.

Around 50 per cent of employers said they offer cash bonuses, while 46 per cent and 40 per cent offer high street vouchers and restaurant vouchers respectively.

Jose Carvalho, senior vice-president at American Express said: “It’s encouraging to see so many SMEs recognising the benefits of gifting rewards, including those accrued through spending on their charge and credit cards – our research has found that 94 per cent of employees say they would be more like to stay with a company if it regularly rewarded staff members.”